PCB’s medical panel in hot waters after PSL 2021 setback: report

Former fast bowler Shoaib Akhtar had also criticized the PCB’s medical panel and appealed the authorities to take strict action against them

Pakistan Cricket Board’s (PCB) Medical and Sports Sciences head Dr Sohail Saleem is facing the heat after country’s premier Twenty20 tournament, Pakistan Super League (PSL), was postponed indefinitely following emergence of multiple Covid-19 cases in the bio-secure bubble.

According to a report by Cricket Pakistan, PCB officials are holding Dr Sohail responsible for the loopholes observed in event’s bio-secure bubble arrangements.

“The board has lost confidence in Sohail’s capabilities in arranging bio-secure environment, which is why PCB is likely to hire a foreign company, from England or Australia, for all the arrangements in this regard for future PSL matches,” the report stated.

It added that PCB will give Dr Sohail an option to quit himself or he might end up getting fired by the Board. The doctor had also reportedly traveled with the national cricket team in England and New Zealand tours to have a first-hand experience of the SOPs followed in those countries.

Former fast bowler Shoaib Akhtar had also criticized the PCB’s medical panel and appealed the authorities to take strict action against them adding that they played with the lives of people.

“It was the responsibility of medical panel to complete the bio-secure bubble. They didn’t only damage Pakistan cricket, but also put lives in danger,” he said.

“The kind of medical panel that PCB has include doctors who wouldn’t be allowed to even sit in any hospital. They were so incompetent they could not even comprehend what the bio-secure bubbles are like,” Akhtar added.

On Thursday, the PCB had announced postponement of PSL 6 “with immediate effect” after seven people participating in the tournament tested positive for Covid-19.

The PCB had said the decision was taken out of consideration for the health and wellbeing of all participants in the tournament.

“Following a meeting with the team owners and considering the health and wellbeing of all participants is paramount, the Pakistan Cricket Board has decided to postpone the HBL Pakistan Super League 6 with immediate effect. The decision was made after seven cases were reported in the competition, which had started on 20 February,” the cricket body had said in a press release. “The PCB will concentrate on ‘safe and secure passage’ for the participants and is set to arrange repeat PCR tests, vaccines, and isolation facilities for the six franchises.”

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